Culture\Music and Theater

Peking Opera show based on 'Macbeth' set for Beijing debut

By Chen Nan | China Daily | Updated: 2017-03-27 07:49

Peking Opera show based on 'Macbeth' set for Beijing debut

Wu Hsing-kuo, actor and director, Contemporary Legend Theatre in Taiwan.

"Macbeth is full of desire and ambition, reflecting attributes of all humans. It is timeless and cross-cultural," says Wu.

He chose Macbeth as the first piece for his troupe because it also mirrored his personal ambition.

Wu started learning Peking Opera at Taiwan's Fu-Hsing Chinese Opera School at age 11 and specialized in wusheng (male martial arts roles).

After eight years of training, he was admitted to the Chinese Culture University in Taipei to study the old art form.

"I felt disappointed while performing as most seats were empty and the few audience members that were there were all elderly people," Wu says of the decline Peking Opera faced in the past few decades, when similar troupes went bust.

"Many people gave up but I never imagined I would stop because Peking Opera has been such an important part of my life. I wanted to figure out a way to revive it."

In Kingdom of Desire, Wu combined traditional performing techniques with Western-style storytelling and set it in the Warring States Period (475-221 BC).

In addition, he broke the stereotype of roles in Peking Opera and added cinematic aspects in the production, such as onstage movements of the performers in slow motion.

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